Vardhan IAS Daily Current Affairs, 21st January 2019

Controversy in Appointment Chief Information Commissioner

RTI activists have termed the appointment of former Law Secretary Suresh Chandra as a Central Information Commissioner an “arbitrary process” as he had not applied for the position.


DoPT has shortlisted the candidates outside the list of applications received. It is a violation of procedure laid out by the department in their own affidavit to the Supreme Court. The department defends its move by saying that the search committee is not restricted to applicants, but to deserving candidates.

Way Forward

The appointment and selection process in all constitutional and statutory bodies should be transparent and information should be available in public domain for public scrutiny.

Key points to remember about CIC:

RTI Act 2005 provides in detail provision

  1. Appointment: CIC is appointed by a three member committee consists of Prime Minister (Chairperson), LoP (Leader of Opposition) in Lok Sabha, a union cabinet minister nominated by PM.
  2. Eligibility: CIC and IC should be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance. Further, he should not be an MLA, MP or hold any office of profit.
  3. The term of office: 5 years and shall not be eligible for reappointment.
  4. Salaries and allowance- same as Election commissioner of India.

Flamingo Festival in Pulicat lake, Andhra Pradesh

Prelims: Map work

It is the second largest brackish water lake in India after Chilka lake in Odisha.

Also read more about Nelapaattu Bird Sanctuary in Nellore district. Source: Wikipedia

Manipur People’s Protection Bill 2018

Manipur state government has sent Manipur People’s Protection Bill 2018 for president consent in an opposition to Citizenship Amendment Bill 2018 to protect the indigenous people.

Features of the bill

  • Non-Manipuris are classified as those who are not Meitei, Meitei-Pangal, Schedule tribes listed under the constitution and people who have been living in Manipur after 1951.
  • They (non-Manipuris) are required to get a permit from the authority to enter the state.
  • It seeks to regulate entry and exit of non-Manipuris from outside the state.

Need of the bill

  • An influx of foreign tourists creating a demographic imbalance in the region.
  • Illegal migration Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar,
  • Stiff competition between the locals and outsiders over jobs,
  • Locals feel that Inner Line Permit fails to safeguard their interest as outsiders settle for low paid work.

Inner Line Permit

  • It is an official travel document which is issued to Indian citizen outside these states to travel for a limited period.
  • ILP is operational in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Nagaland.
  • It is issued Bengal under the Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.

Source: The HIndu

International Solar Alliance proposed new bank for funding

ISA has asked the Asian Development Bank to prepare the framework for a new bank which will finance energy access to 1.2 billion people and clean energy access to 2.4 billion people exclusively.
A public-private partnership is being proposed for the project.

About ISA

The International Solar Alliance is an initiative jointly launched by the India and France in 2015 at Paris, COP21 UN Climate Change Conference.


  • To act as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on addressing bottlenecks.
  • A target of 1 TW of solar energy by 2030, and
  • Mobilize more than $ 1 trillion of investments.

The Framework Agreement coming into force on 6th December 2017, the ISA became the first treaty based international intergovernmental organization headquartered in India.

Functioning of ISA

  • Promote solar technologies, new business models by aggregating the demand to reduce prices on bulk purchase, and investment in the solar sector.
  • Develop innovative financial mechanisms to reduce the cost of capital.
  • Build a common knowledge e-Portal.
  • Facilitate capacity building for solar technologies and R&D.

Source: Down To Earth

Smart Food Executive Council – An African Asian Initiative

The Smart Food Executive Council has been formed under the aegis of the Smart Food Initiative that was launched in 2013.

Further, the largest agriculture associations in Africa and Asia such as Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), and ICRISAT collaborated to promote smart food.

Smart food Initiative was being launched International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT).


  • It will diversify the meal to overcome malnutrition and achieve SDG goals.
  • This would contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for overcoming poverty and hunger (SDG 1 and 2), responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), along with adaptation to climate change (Goal 13). The approach taken will include gender equality (SDG 5) and action through partnerships (SDG 17).

Smart Food

It refers to a food that fulfils the criteria of being good for the consumer – nutritious and healthy, good for the planet – environmentally sustainable and good for the farmer. Initially, it aims to popularize millets and sorghum.

Source: Down to Earth

Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) by global companies

  • 30 global companies pledged over $1.5 billion to eliminate plastic waste across the world in the next 5 years.
  • The alliance is designed as a non-profit organization.
  • Aim: To promote the circular economy by developing solutions to mitigate the plastic waste.

Source: click here

Global Economy watch Report

Published by: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

It provides latest projection for the world’s leading economies, and issues and trends affecting the global economies.

Important data relevant to India and world

  • India is likely to surpass the United Kingdom in the world’s largest economy rankings in 2019.
  • Projected India’s GDP growth rate should be 7.6% in 2019-20.
  • The growth rate of G7 economies in the world would slow down to average growth rate.

Source: The Hindu

ISRO’s Young Scientist programme

Aim: To inculcate and nurture a passion for space research.

Duration: 1 month mini satellite building training program

Eligibility: Mostly 8th standard pass students. 3 students will be selected from each state and UTs.

Source: The Indian Express

Operation Kabaddi

  • It is the largest planned operation to capture at least 25 selected posts in Pak occupied Kashmir by Indian army.
  • The aim is to change the geography to prevent the infiltration in the Line of control. However, the operation didn’t took place due to 9/11 terror attack.

Source: The Hindu

ASI Excavation at Asurgarh Fort, Odisha

  • ASI finds 2300-year-old artefacts in Kalahandi districts.
  • It points to an advanced civilization.

Source: The Hindu

Maniyaro: A Folk dance from Gujarat

  • It is performed by MAHAR community of the Saurashtra region in Gujarat.
  • Men wear traditional costumes and used wooden sticks to dance like Dandiya RAAS.
  • Musical instruments used are: Drum, Flute, and RAVAN Hattho, etc.
  • Lyrics of the songs based on heroism, separation, enjoyment, etc.

Source: The Hindu

Aadhaar as travel documents to visit Nepal, Bhutan: MHA

Aadhaar cards are now valid travel documents for Indians under 15 and over 65 travelling to Nepal and Bhutan.


  • Indian citizens going to Nepal and Bhutan do not need a visa if they have a valid passport, identity card issued by the Indian government or the Election Commission.
  • Earlier, Persons above 65 years and below 15 years could show their PAN card, driving license, Central Government Health Service (CGHS) card or ration card to prove their identity for the visit of these two countries. Aadhaar has been included in this list.

India’s defense Industrial Corridor

  • India’s first defense industrial corridor is in Uttar Pradesh connecting Agra, Aligarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Chitrakoot and Jhansi.
  • Second Defense industrial corridor has been inaugurated in TamilNadu connecting Chennai, Hosur, Salem, Coimbatore and Tiruchirapalli.

Source: The Indian Express

Small Woodbrown butterfly

Researchers in Sikkim have rediscovered the Small Woodbrown butterfly species from Bakhim in Khanchendzonga National Park.